In 2015, New York became the first state to officially ban talking, texting, and playing with hand-hand mobile devices while driving. According to New York lawmakers, this variation of distracted driving is “twice as bad as drunk driving.” As a result, New York law enforcement is very strict about ticketing anyone who is caught using a mobile device when operating a motor vehicle. In fact, only two other traffic violations carry 5 NYS DMV points: reckless driving and passing a stopped school bus.
The following mobile device activities are considered illegal while driving in New York:
- Taking a phone call
- Playing games
- Reading e-books
- Composing or reading texts or e-mails
- Taking photographs
- Inputting information into a GPS device
If you are issued a ticket for a hand-held mobile device violation, you may end up paying hundreds of dollars in fines and surcharges, and thousands if your insurance policy increases. At Katz Lawyers, our New York traffic offense attorney can represent your case in court and fiercely litigate to get the penalties of your offense reduced or dismissed. With nearly 20 years of experience, our legal team has a comprehensive understanding of New York traffic laws and can use our extensive resources and innovative negotiation techniques to protect your driving privileges.
We’re available 24/7! Speak with a New York traffic offense lawyer today by calling (212) 747-0606 .
Understanding the Penalties
Per New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), drivers can be issued tickets for two different types of hand-held mobile device violations. The first, VTL 1225(c) Use of Mobile Telephone, is a ticket for using your cell phone to make a phone call. The second, VTL 1225(d) use of Portable Electronic Devices, is a ticket for using any hand-held device while driving.
“Hand-held mobile devices” include any portable computing or communications devices, such as:
- Cell phones
- Video game consoles
However, because New York traffic laws are so strict, you can receive a VTL 1225(d) ticket just for holding your cell phone or fixing a GPS navigation program while driving.
You may face the following financial penalties if you are issued a VTL 1225(c) or a VTL 1225(d) ticket:
- $50-$150 fine for a first offense
- $50-$200 fine for a second offense (if it’s committed within 18 months
of the first ticket)
- $50-$400 fine for a third offense (if it’s committed within 18 months
of the first ticket)
- $93 surcharge
- $300+ Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee (DRA)
- 20% increase in your auto insurance premium
Protect Your Driving Record
The first step in protecting your driving record is to contact an experienced New York traffic offense attorney. At Katz Lawyers, we understand that driving is a necessary method of transportation for many New Yorkers. Losing your driving privileges can negatively impact your daily life and your job. Regardless of your driving record and the number of tickets you’ve accumulated, our legal team can fight for you.
Contact Katz Lawyers at (212) 747-0606 to schedule a free consultation.